Thursday, November 13, 2014

Neutral vs bias

As the journalist said to the linguist…
Linguist: Verbs, adjectives and adverbs… they range from neutral through bias to outright hostile.
Journalist: What’s the difference between neutral and bias?
Linguist: A biased expression is one which can’t be replaced by a more neutral one. For example, saying "Your position is utterly wrong" could be expressed more neutrally as "You may be mistaken."
Journalist: A word cloud shows it better than just talking about it.
Linguist: Good idea. Then graph it.

But the distinction between bias and hostile is fuzzy. Better to subsume hostile into bias.

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